I’m forever grateful for the many set aside days throughout the year that force all of us to pause and reflect on how great our country is due to the sacrifices so many men and women have made.
Just one month after Memorial Day, most of us will have the day off on Friday, July 4 to reflect on the history and freedoms of our nation.
While it’s hard not to get excited about a three day weekend, it’s extremely important for all of us to remember the foundation of our nation and celebrate the greatest country in the world.
The 4th of July season is underway. Fireworks stands are up and running, grocery stores have cookout items organized to help us with our shopping, and families are making plans to reunite with loved ones.
If you go to church, this means you get to sing patriotic songs that you normally don’t sing throughout the year.
At our church, Friendship Baptist in Mexico, we sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”
I’m always partial to our nation’s anthem because it was written where I’m from, in Baltimore, Md.
Francis Scott Key wrote the poem during the Battle of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay when Americans were trying to defend Fort McHenry.
There is still a red, white, and blue painted buoy in the Inner Harbor placed to recognize the place Key was sitting when he wrote the piece.
At night time, you can take a ride on a boat in the Inner Harbor and go by Fort McHenry. It shows multiple lights on both sides of the American Flag pointed up into the sky on different angles.
It gives an appearance of how cannon fire might have lit up the night time sky when he wrote the poem.
It gave me chills when I saw this for the first time. I could see why he was inspired to attempt a written description of what he was seeing.
Many of us enjoy hearing the now adopted national anthem at ball games throughout the year.
But while we sing the first verse, many of us may not realize there are three other verses to the song.
When we sang the final verse at our church this past Sunday, I had goose bumps. I couldn’t help but think how much our country might be in better shape if we sang it with the first verse at sporting events and other gatherings.
“O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
This offers our nation a chance to recognize we were created by a higher power. It says as a nation we trust in God and He deserves praise for His work in making an preserving this great nation.
Unfortunately, our young people today are not growing up and being raise to learn about God and all that He’s created.
Most churches have very few teenagers attending while the teen’s parents aren’t going to church as well.
While those living at the time of our Founding Fathers recognized the role God plays in everything that happens, in today’s world His name has become the third word in a acronym represented by the letter “G” and preceded by the letters “O” and “M.”
Our young people don’t know they are using God’s name in vain.
This is contrary to the 10 Commandments. Exodus 20:7 (KJV) reads “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
So in nearly 230 years, our nation has went from truly relying on God to flippantly using his name in vain.
To some of you reading this editorial, you might believe I’m out of touch or that I am someone who should have lived 200 years ago.
And that is a fair criticism.
I believe our nation might be better off if people raised their children today, teaching them to respect the holiness of God and to be thankful for everything God has allowed them to have.
Perhaps singing the fourth verse of the national anthem would be an easy start.